1 THEN Agrippa said unto Paul, Thou art permitted to speak for thyself. Then Paul stretching out his hand, began his defence: 2 I count myself happy, king Agrippa, that I am about to address my defence to thee this day concerning all the things of which I am accused by the Jews: 3 especially as thou art skilled both in all the customs, and questions which respect the Jews: wherefore I beg the favour of thee to hear me patiently.
4 The manner of my life even from my youth, which from its beginning was spent amidst my own nation at Jerusalem, know indeed all the Jews; 5 who previously knew me a long while ago, (if they chose to bear testimony,) that according to the most precise sect of our religion I lived a Pharisee. 6 And this moment for the hope of the promise made of God to our fathers am I standing here to be judged: 7 which promise our twelve tribes, with fervour night and day worshipping God, hope to attain. For which hope, king Agrippa, I am criminated by the Jews. 8 What! is it judged a thing incredible by you, that God should raise the dead? 9 I indeed then thought in myself, that I ought to do many things in opposition to the name of Jesus the Nazarean. 10 Which also I did at Jerusalem: and many of the saints did I shut up in prisons, having received authority from the chief priests; and when they were killed, I gave my vote against them. 11 And in every synagogue oftentimes punishing them, I compelled them to blaspheme; and being exceedingly maddened with rage against them, I persecuted them even to the cities that are without.
12 In which pursuits, even as I was going to Damascus with authority and a commission from the chief priests, 13 at midday, O king, I saw on the road a light from heaven, beyond the splendour of the sun, shining around myself and those who were travelling with me. 14 And as we were all fallen prostrate on the earth, I heard a voice speaking to me, and saving in the Hebrew tongue, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? it is difficult for thee to kick against the goads.
15 Then I said, Who art thou, Lord? And he replied, I am Jesus whom thou art persecuting. 16 Notwithstanding, arise, and stand on thy feet: for to this end have I appeared to thee, to ordain thee both a minister and a witness of the things which thou hast seen, and of those which I will shew thee; 17 delivering thee both from the people, and from the Gentiles, to whom now I send thee, 18 to open their eyes, to convert them from darkness to light, and from the dominion of Satan unto God, that they may receive remission of sins, and an inheritance with those who are sanctified by faith which is in me.
19 Whereupon, O king Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision: 20 but preached first to those at Damascus, and Jerusalem, and to all the region of Judea, and to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, practicing works worthy of repentance. 21 Because of these things, the Jews seizing me in the temple, attempted to kill me on the spot. 22 Having however obtained help from God, unto this day, I stand witnessing both to small and great, saying nothing but what both the prophets and Moses said should come to pass: 23 that the Messiah should suffer, [and] that he being the first who should rise from the dead, should display light to the people, and to the Gentiles.
24 As thus he was proceeding in his defence, Festus with a loud voice said, Paul, thou art raving; much reading hath driven thee to madness.
25 But he said, I am not mad, most noble Festus; but utter words of truth and sobriety. 26 For the king is well acquainted with these things, before whom also I speak with the greatest freedom. For I am persuaded that none of these events have escaped his notice; for this thing was not done in a corner. 27 King Agrippa! believest thou the prophets? I know that thou believest.
28 Then Agrippa said to Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian.
29 And Paul replied, would to God, that not only thou, but also that all who are hearing me this day, were both almost, and altogether such as I am, except these chains.
30 So when he had thus spoken, the king arose, and the governor, and Bernice, and they who sat with him, 31 and retiring, conversed together, saying, This man hath done nothing worthy of death, or of chains.
32 And Agrippa said to Festus, This man might have been discharged, if he had not appealed to Caesar.